DRINKS producer Chapel Down is looking to secure 500 acres of vineyard land after raising £18.5million in share sales. The Tenterden-based wine, beer and spirit makers hailed ‘a new chapter of growth’ after issuing 37,060,000 ordinary shares at 50p each.

In a statement last Wednesday [December 13], Chapel Down announced a currently unnamed global institutional investor contributed to the scheme.

 

The business has previously relied on crowdfunding for its capital, so Chief Executive Frazer Thompson feels this is a ‘transformational moment’.

He said: “This fundraising enables us to significantly invest in the business for further growth and to meet the increasing demand for our products.

“This marks the opening of a new chapter of growth for Chapel Down.

“With an outstanding team and world class products, we will look to fully capitalise on
our position as the UK’s most exciting drinks company.”

Chapel Down said proceeds from the £18.5million would be used to secure vineyard land of around 500 acres, step up the brand’s sales and marketing and accelerate the growth of its beer business.

There are also plans to improve the shop, bar and ‘visitor experience’ at their Ashford brewery. The firm is also looking to launch an Open Offer for existing shareholders to raise a further £1.47million through selling more 50p shares.

Mr Thompson added: “We welcome the new investors in our company and hope that many of our existing shareholders will take part in the Open Offer and continue their journey with Chapel Down.”

As a result of the fundraising, the company has seen a steady growth over the past five years with a 25 per cent compounded annual growth rate in sales.

Despite British weather proving a challenge, turnover is expected to be around £11.6million for the current financial year.

Chapel Down’s headquarters are in Tenterden and their vineyards sprawl around surrounding Kent countryside. The new plots are likely to be developed nearby.